Macau’s casinos were shut down on Monday for the first time in more than two years following a coronavirus outbreak there.
It has been decreed that all non-essential enterprises, including more than 30 casinos, must close for a week.
According to city records, 1,526 cases of Covid have been reported in the city since June.
Concern over stricter regulations in China’s particular administrative area dragged down gaming stocks Monday.
As the city battles its worst Covid-19 epidemic since early 2020, around 19,000 residents have been placed under mandatory quarantine.
Bars and movies were among the places that had previously been forced to close due to previous orders.
It was announced over the weekend that unless a business was “deemed fundamental to the community and the day-to-day life of members of the public,” all activities in Macau would be suspended.
Officials said they have taken “the latest action” to stop the spread of Covid-19 in the community.
People have also been told to stay home, and eateries have stopped serving dine-in options.
Covid vaccinations have been administered to more than 90% of Macau’s population. This is unknown that how many people have received booster shots , but the city is now dealing with an Omicron strain rapidly spreading.
A temporary hospital has been built up, and numerous casinos have been converted into medical facilities in recent weeks because the former Portuguese colony only has one governmental hospital that serves more than 600,000 people.
Infected buildings and hotels have been quarantined, and residents have been subjected to random testing.
There is a rigorous “zero Covid” policy in Macau where even a few cases have resulted in widespread testing, quarantine, and city-wide lockdowns.
Even though Macau hasn’t implemented a city-wide lockdown like the rest of China, it’s effectively closed due to the suspension of most services.
As a Hong Kong Daiwa Capital Markets stock research analyst, Terry Ng told that Macau is “locked in a rut.”
There is 71 per cent of all foreign visitors from mainland China, and they contribute over 90 per cent of gross gaming income. Thus the zero-Covid policy must be strictly adhered to, he explained.
Macau, like Hong Kong, is a special administrative zone of China where gambling is legal.
Shares in Macau’s casinos fell on Monday as new regulations took effect.
Hong Kong shares of Sands China, a subsidiary of Las Vegas Sands, were trading 7% lower at midday. Shares of Hong Kong tycoon Stanley Ho’s SJM Holdings plummeted 6.1 per cent on Monday.